Time Has An End

by Harold Camping
Family Stations Inc.


The Ultimate Terror — Judgment Day

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We read in Isaiah 13:9:

Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.

This verse is summing up a very important, a supremely important, teaching of the Bible. It is describing the ultimate terror this world will soon face.

Significantly, as we come to that day of ultimate terror, the world is presently being trained to think about and be frightened by terrorists. We are living in the day of terror. On September 11, 2001, two airplanes struck the World Trade Center in New York City, another airplane struck the Pentagon in Washington D.C., and one other airplane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. About 3,000 people were killed within an hour, and suddenly, the whole world changed.

Prior to that terrible day, there were acts of terror here and there. A few were killed in one city or another city somewhere in the world. However, we in the United States, together with many peoples of the world, did not pay a whole lot of attention to these incidents. They were news events that we read about in the newspaper or saw on TV, but they really did not register in our hearts with any seriousness. But come September 11, 2001, the temperature of the world changed dramatically. Suddenly, terror was on everybody’s heart. Our government began to spend billions of dollars on security. Suddenly, everything changed.

Ever since September 11, 2001, any time there is a major event going on, security is of number one importance. This is not only true in our land, but in every land. For example, when I get on an airplane in Taiwan, it is clearly evident that security is of uppermost importance. Every bag put on the plane is carefully checked. Security officers look carefully to make sure there is nothing that could produce destruction. Terror is the name of the game. In September, 2004, when evil men seized more than 1,200 hostages at a school, and more than 330 people were killed, terror was in the hearts of those in Beslan, Russia.

Terror is what is happening today all over the world. People in Israel live in constant terror because they never know when another bomb is going to explode. How many people have been beheaded in Iraq because of the brutal action of terrorists! And who knows what acts of terror may be occurring even as you are reading this book! Terror is a fact of this world, and all the people of the world must live with it. The big change or the focal point of all of this really  

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began in 2001. We could say that the world has officially come into the age of terror. The world has been violently introduced into the age of terror.

The world has been violently introduced
into the age of terror.

A Fictional Story of Terror

Now suppose there were someone in the world who was a very, very evil person, and yet, he also had a very brilliant mind. This is pure speculation. This is only imagination. This person does not exist, but I want you to suppose for a moment that this person does exist. This individual has somehow been able to assemble together enough components so that he was able to build a half dozen huge nuclear warheads. Not only has he been able to assemble these nuclear warheads, but also he has been able to put together several means of distribution.

This is an imaginary story, so we can make it as complex as we wish to make it. He is living in a hideout that is somewhere in the world, but nobody knows where it is, and it is impossible to find. This evil genius sends a message to all of the governments of the world. In this message, first of all, he gives enough information to show that he is completely able to do what he is threatening. The information he provides is so conclusive that there is no question at all about the fact that these governments will understand that he is able to perform what he plans to do. Not only that, but, in this message, he emphasizes that he has a very destructive mind. He is determined to destroy. We do not have to imagine that a man could have such a terrible desire in his mind. We see this kind of thinking all over the world today. We know that there are many who are ready to destroy.

The goal of this evil genius is to destroy as much of the world as possible. Therefore, in the message he sends to the governments of the world, he warns that soon, he is going to drop a nuclear bomb on one of the great cities of the world. It could be New York, it could be Tokyo, it could be London, it could be Beijing. He will not disclose which city. He also says that right after that, he is going to drop another nuclear bomb on another city. He warns that he plans to do this until his supply of a half dozen nuclear bombs has all been used up.

What do you suppose the governments of the world are going to do? They are going to start spending not billions of dollars but trillions of dollars trying to find this evil genius, trying to stop this from happening, if they possibly can. What do you suppose the people of the large cities are doing? They are frantic. They are paralyzed with fear. The whole world is paralyzed with fear. Then they all charge out of their cities and into the countryside. They do not want to be in their cities

 

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when the bomb is dropped. When experts carefully analyze the material that this evil genius has sent, it is very obvious that he is capable, totally capable, of performing what he plans to do. Thus, the world is totally paralyzed with fear. We have no trouble understanding that kind of scenario because we have seen examples of fright. Think of the example of when snipers can paralyze a whole state with fear so that the children are afraid to go to school and men are afraid to pump gas out in the open for fear that they might get a bullet in their heart.

A True Story of Terror

There is another scenario that is absolutely true
that is infinitely more terrible than that described
in that imaginary story.

The above scenario is super awful. We are glad it is only a story. It is like a fairy tale that could never come true. However, there is another scenario that is absolutely true that is infinitely more terrible than that described in this imaginary story. It is going to happen even though the world pays no attention to it.

There is a God in Heaven who wrote a book that was finished about 2,000 years ago. That book is called the Bible. There God has written what His plan is. He has written very, very plainly. He has written that there is going to come a day when God, in the Person of Jesus Christ, is going to return. He is going to come as the Judge of all the earth. At that time, every man, woman, and child who has not become saved is going to be subject to the eternal wrath of God (II Thessalonians 1:7-10). Thus, the consequence for any unsaved person’s life will be far worse than that of being killed by a nuclear weapon. It will mean that that person will be subject to the second death, eternal damnation.

God has warned the world. He has written about it again and again in the Bible, the Word of God, and He has indicated that this act of ultimate terror will happen. God has decreed that the time will come when He will end this world (II Peter 3:10). It is the terror of God coming as the Judge of all the earth. All of the evidence of the Bible shows that the time for Christ’s return has drawn very, very close. It is very, very near, and He has indicated that He is going to come with great wrath and with fierce anger to destroy the sinners out of the land.

We read earlier that God warns in Isaiah 13:9:

Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and

 

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fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.

Christ is not an evil genius. He is holy righteous God. He is God, great in mercy and compassion (Psalm 103:8; Lamentations 3:31-32). For over 13,000 years, He has been demonstrating His tremendous mercy in this sinful world. But God, in His perfect righteousness, must carry out His Law (as set forth in the Bible) to bring to justice all of mankind who are guilty of sin (Exodus 34:6-7).

We read in the Bible that Christ weeps in sorrow over the fact that He must bring judgment (Luke 19:41-44). We read that He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 33:11). However, when this time of punishment comes, there will not, there cannot, be any pity or mercy. God must faithfully and righteously bring to trial, and sentence to Hell, each and every one who is guilty. Therefore, the Bible uses the language that Christ comes as a cruel God.

Repeatedly, God warns that the day will come
when He will bring an end to the world.

This kind of warning is sprinkled all through the pages of the Bible. Repeatedly, God warns that the day will come when He will bring an end to the world. Everyone who is not a genuinely-saved child of God is going to be caught in the net of the wrath of God. They will receive a blow that is far more terrible than being destroyed by a nuclear weapon. Each and every unsaved person will be caught and will stand for judgment. It will be too late for salvation. Those who stand for judgment will end up eternally under the wrath of God, under eternal damnation (Revelation 20:12-15). Nothing could be worse than that. It is a terror that is indescribable in its horror. Our present age of terror becomes completely insignificant in comparison to this gigantic terror that is fast approaching.

God Can and Will Do What He Has Planned

Immediately, this question must be raised. In our imaginary story, the evil genius was able to prove to the world governments that he had the ability to carry out his threat of terror. Is God able to carry out His threat of the ultimate terror of Judgment Day?

We need to go to II Peter Chapter 3. God has given us this letter in the Bible. He has given the document to us, and He is showing us that He is perfectly capable of doing what He has planned. Nothing can be done to prevent what God has planned. We read in II Peter 3, verses 3 and 4:

 

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Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? . . .

In other words, many people are saying, “We have this letter from this person who says He will destroy the world in the very near future, but we don’t believe it. We just do not think it could happen.”

In answer to this, God effectively says, “Now wait a minute, wait a minute, look who is speaking.” In II Peter 3, verses 5 and 6, we read:

For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished.

Oh, when did that happen? When did such a flood happen? To find out, we must go back to Genesis Chapter 6. There, within the account of the Universal Flood, we read in verse 3:

And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.

God Gave a Timetable

God had given a timetable for something to happen. At the end of 120 years, something awful was going to happen. The world had become very wicked at that time. Oh, yes, it was about 7,000 years ago, and the world was not nearly as populated as it is today. However, the Bible tells us what God did to the world at the end of that 120 years. It is a true and trustworthy declaration. God can set a timetable, and He can make it happen. We read in Genesis 6, verses 5-7:

And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them [emphasis added].

 

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In this statement, God is effectively saying, “I am going to destroy this world.” You mean God was going to destroy the whole earth? Come on, that is an impossibility. How could He do that? Let us learn how He did it.

God commands Noah to build an ark. It is a huge boat. It is an impossible idea. This man and his family are to build this huge craft that is 450 feet long and seventy-five feet wide and forty-five feet high with three floors in it so that it has a ceiling height of every floor that is about fourteen or fifteen feet. It is a craft that is to be built on dry land. Noah has 120 years to complete the task (Genesis 6:3, 14-16).

Certainly, by the end of 120 years, everyone on the earth of that day knew about this idiot Noah. Look what he is doing! He is spending all of his efforts building this ridiculous boat on dry land. Why, there never could be enough water to float that craft, much less do what Noah is preaching about — destroy the whole earth! Noah was a preacher of righteousness (II Peter 2:5), therefore, he would have been preaching, “God is going to destroy this earth. You have to repent. You must turn away from your sins.” Nobody listened. Nobody listened except his own family: his wife, his three sons and their respective wives. They were the only ones who listened (Genesis 6:18).

Then came the day, and the animals began to congregate in order to be put into this huge boat. Two of each kind of dinosaur (they could have been baby dinosaurs), two of every animal that had the breath of life, two of every bird that had the breath of life, they all had to be brought into that ark. Noah had to bring seven pairs of all the clean animals (Genesis 7:2-3, 7-9). There were only a few of this kind of animal, like sheep and oxen and turtledoves (see Leviticus Chapter 11). In our mind’s eye, we can see a huge crowd all around the ark, watching. People are watching, watching, but no one is repenting. How could anybody destroy this earth? Look what that crazy man Noah is up to. Look at the effort he is putting forth. Certainly, this is a ridiculous thing that we are looking at. After a while they are going to come out of that ark, and we are really going to laugh at them.

Then God shut the door, and the waters began to pour down (Genesis 7:10-16). In all likelihood, God put the earth on a path so that it would pass through a great rain cloud in deep space because for forty days and forty nights, it rained and rained and rained (see Adam When?, pg. 182, available free of charge from Family Radio). The waters rose above the highest mountains of those days. Since water seeks its own level, when the highest mountain was covered, it meant that the whole face of the planet was covered with water. So, we read in Genesis 7, verse 10:

And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood

 

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were upon the earth.

Verses 18 and 19 tell us:

And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered.

Verses 20 through 23 go on:

Fifteen cubits upward [that is, the waters covered the highest mountains by at least 22.5 feet] did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered. And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: all in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died. And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.

Proof that the Deluge Did Happen

Now, it is significant that we have very clear evidence of this great Flood as we look at the fossil records. The unbelieving scientists and theologians and archaeologists say something happened a million or more years ago that caused the fossils in the rocks. They speak of dinosaurs that lived twenty million or fifty million or eighty million years ago, but they will not at all consider the fact of the Flood of Noah’s day. They do not at all realize that the fossils in the rocks are clear evidence that such a flood did occur.

Ordinarily, bones do not fossilize. They slowly return to dust. Thus, a very special and unique situation was required to produce the immense quantities of fossils presently found in sedimentary rock. The only reason the fossils are there is because of the cataclysmic nature of the Flood. The animals were caught in huge mud slides. Under the pressure and heat that generated from the mud floes, the mud floes turned to sedimentary rock, that is, rock that is laid down by water, and the bones that were in it fossilized. Thus, we have striking evidence that this Flood did occur.

 

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So, what does God say in II Peter? He says in II Peter 3:5-6:

For this they [these scoffers] willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished.

By the Flood of Noah’s day, God has clearly demonstrated that God will not only carry to full fruition any threats that He makes, but He is absolutely able to carry out His threats. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to listen carefully when God gives us a warning. God once again sounds the warning of the ultimate act of terror —

Judgment Day! God has repeatedly sounded this warning in the Bible. We saw the warning in Isaiah 13:9. But also God declares in II Peter 3, verse 7:

But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

We read in II Peter 3, verse 10:

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

Later on, as another example, we see that the four cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and Admah and Zeboim had become very wicked. It became God’s purpose to destroy them. He told Abraham that He was going to destroy these cities. He even came into the city of Sodom and told Lot, his wife, his daughters and sons-in-law, that the time had come. He was going to destroy this city. You have to get out! Lot and his two daughters reluctantly obeyed, but Mrs. Lot’s heart was still in Sodom. The next thing, fire and brimstone came down, and the whole city and all the individuals — men, women, children, babies, everybody — were incinerated because God brought this enormous holocaust on Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim (Genesis 19:1-29; Deuteronomy 29:23).

God is illustrating His absolute ability
to carry out His warnings.

 

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By means of these events, God is illustrating His absolute ability to carry out His warnings. He is effectively indicating, “Look, when I tell you there is going to come a time when I will return and bring this world into judgment, you better listen to me. You better listen to me because I have clearly demonstrated in history my complete ability to carry out my threats.”

For a Long Time, God Has Been Warning

The Bible was completed about A.D. 95, and for the last 1,900 years, the world has had the Bible. Theologians and Bible scholars and curious people have read the Bible, and they have seen that, at some time in the future, there is a Judgment Day coming. Someday, that dreadful event is to occur. But they say, in effect, “It is in the future, in the wild blue yonder, so to speak, and because it is in the far future, it is nothing that we really have to be concerned about.”

Nevertheless, it is something that is gnawing at the heart of man. Even secular men talk about Doomsday. They talk about a final end of some kind, but they do not speak about it with great fear or trembling. It is more of a curiosity. It is something that they can think about a little tiny bit, but basically, it is not of great concern. Are we not making this world better and better for mankind? Are we not solving our problems left and right? Are we not making more and more medical discoveries so that we are able to prolong life? Are we not finding ways in which to begin to abolish war? Are we not becoming one world so that we are able to adjudicate grievances in various countries? Surely, we are somehow going to make this world a better place.

Yet the Bible keeps persisting there is going to be a Judgment Day.

Now let us return for a moment to our imaginary story. We imagined an evil genius, and in this world, only a very evil person would be a terrorist today. Remember in our fictitious story, this evil genius was able to convince the governments of the world that he would drop a nuclear weapon on a large city. He indicated that he has the capability to do it, and so the whole world is in stark terror. Everyone is absolutely paralyzed with terror. They are paralyzed with fear as they wonder, “What is going to happen?” We know this would be the reaction of the world to such a threat because we see the terror that is already in the hearts of people as a result of the things that are happening today. We are in an era of terror today. It is the present legacy of the world.

Let us compare the threat of this evil genius with the declaration from Almighty God Himself. As we have noted, God repeatedly insists that there will come a time when He will destroy this whole world and every human being on it who has the breath of life and who has not become a genuinely-saved child of God. It will not be a physical death. It will be something infinitely more terrible.

 

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Unsaved man will be destroyed by being cast into Hell forevermore, and this world will be consumed by a holocaust. It is going to be burned by fire, and it will come to an end.

As we have noted, secular man, who could not care less about what the Bible warns, is hardly affected by this warning. But what about the theologians and Bible students who earnestly study the Bible?

At any time in history, those who were warned by the Bible could agree, “Yes, someday there will be a Judgment Day. That is going to happen, but praise the Lord, not in our generation. We do not have to worry about it, even though all around us people die, and we think how unfortunate that may be. We know the Biblical truth that, on the last day, they will be resurrected to face the Judgment Throne (John 5:28-29; 12:48), but Judgment Day is far in the future. They died; we buried them; the world keeps going. We are busy trying to build our business. We are still trying to make this world a better place to live. We are still trying to solve our health problems. We are still trying to get a cure for cancer and a cure for heart disease or whatever. We are still working hard at this, and we are making a lot of progress, are we not? Are not people beginning to live a little bit longer, and do we not have a little bit better quality of life in some ways? Do we not have nicer things and a whole lot more toys that we can play with and new electronic gadgets of one kind or another? We are happier! Is not this what happiness is? Are we not obtaining what we are looking for? Even though we have some doubts about how well we will be doing, nonetheless, we are getting along very well. And so, our friend died. Too bad; too bad he cannot enjoy this world anymore.”

Fact is, God is a holy God. He is an absolutely perfect God who has demonstrated beyond any question at all that someday, He is going to come and destroy this world (Psalms 98:9; 99:1-5). At that dreadful time, all of the unsaved are going to be sent to Hell to experience eternal damnation. Read again the Scripture passages we have already cited. And there are plenty more, many of which will be included in this book. God uses the most lurid language possible as He warns of this dreadful event. Repeatedly, He speaks of the terrible nature of this event. Repeatedly, He emphasizes that it will impact every human being on the face of the earth. God has written profusely about this awful event and has demonstrated that He can do it and that He will do it.

It Is About To Occur

. . . probably the vast majority of the people who are living
today will still be living when Christ comes again.

 

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Now we have come to a time when we sense more and more that this terrible event is about to envelop the whole earth. We are near that moment. In fact, there is enough evidence to believe that probably the vast majority of the people who are living today will still be living when Christ comes again. All of the evidence is pointing to the fact that we are near the end. The Bible teaches that, just before the end of the world, there will be a period of Great Tribulation. We read in Matthew 24:21:

For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

This Great Tribulation will be immediately followed by the return of Christ. In Matthew 24:29-30, God declares:

Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

The return of Christ is at the end of the world. A great amount of evidence shows that we are now in that period of Great Tribulation. Since the Bible teaches that the Great Tribulation is the last great event before the return of Christ, we know that Judgment Day is almost here. Immediately after the tribulation of those days, Christ will return. Therefore, we know that we are very close to the end. It is not in the wild blue yonder any longer. It is not “someday, someday this will happen.” We have to say it is ALMOST READY TO HAPPEN!

When we examine the Bible carefully, we can know that there is a very high probability that most of us who are alive today will still be alive when Christ comes again. (The Bible indicates this in passages like Matthew 24:40-41 and I Thessalonians 4:17.) I believe we are very close. We are moving rapidly to the end of the world and Judgment Day. In Family Radio, we have been teaching for months and even years that we are already in the time of the Great Tribulation (see The End of the Church Age and After and other studies from Family Radio). We know we are very near the end.

When we see what is happening in the world, whether it is the World Trade Center tragedy, the terrible terror events that are happening in Israel, Iraq,

 

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or anywhere else in the world, we know we have entered into an age of terror. Acts of terror are occurring everywhere, and, in one sense, we can say these are warnings pointing to the ultimate act of terror, Judgment Day.

The likelihood is, however, that we also have to look at these tragic events a little differently. What is happening in the world today is actually a distraction. It is a distraction and a diversion from where men’s minds ought to be. We can look at the physical characteristics of present acts of terror and realize that we must do something about it. We all agree that not only must we do something, but we can do something about it. We can marshal our money and our efforts, and we can stamp out this kind of terror.

If the world could only realize the awful predicament it is really in!

But simultaneously, almost entirely unknown to the world, there is this infinitely greater terror that is stalking the world. It is the return of Jesus Christ to judge the world, and almost nobody is paying attention to it. Virtually nobody is in fear or trembling. If the world could only realize the awful predicament it is really in! Every human being on the face of the earth who does not know the salvation that is in Jesus Christ should be trembling in fear. They should hardly be able to sleep at night!

Just think, in the next few years, some time shortly, Christ is coming, and He is coming to end this world. It is going to be total destruction. It means that if I am unsaved, I am going to be brought to trial. It means that I have to answer for my life, for my sins (Ecclesiastes 12:14; II Corinthians 5:10). It means that I am going to be found guilty and be cast into Hell forevermore. How terrible! How terrible! How can I sleep at night when I think about these things?

These warnings of the Bible are absolutely true and trustworthy. As we study the Bible carefully, surely, we have to admit, yes, it is indeed very, very true. That means that this terrible event, this terrible holocaust, this terrible thing, which is infinitely more terrible than what is going on today as we are being terrified by terrorists, will happen. It is infinitely more awful than what an evil genius could pull off, if such a thing could ever happen. The ultimate terror is not fanciful, it is not “may be.”

The ultimate terror is the fact that God has declared that He is going to come and destroy this world. He has written about it all through the pages of the Bible. He has clearly indicated He has full capability to do it. He has demonstrated His total capability to do it. No matter what security system all of the governments of the world can put together, this awful event cannot be stopped. They can  

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provide every nickel of their government budgets to attack this problem, but there is no way that they can stop it from happening. There is no way that they can stop God from doing it. There is no place where they can find security. Even if they could dig a cave into the bowels of the earth, ten miles down, and somehow get all of the people down there, they would not be safe because God will find everybody wherever they might be (I Thessalonians 5:3; Hebrews 12:25-26). There is no protection. None whatsoever.

This scenario that God paints on the pages of the Bible, in which He warns that He is coming to destroy the wicked in His great wrath, is absolutely true. Since it is absolutely true, one would wonder why every unsaved person in the world is not paralyzed with fear? How can it be that every person is not stricken with fright?

One of the reasons, of course, is that, if they hear about it, they will scoff. Remember, God said in II Peter 3, verse 3, that scoffers will come. They effectively say, “Ah, come on, do we have to believe that? That is just a scare tactic. Come on, a good God would not do that, He loves the earth. He would never do that.” Oh? Won’t He? Won’t He? Read Genesis Chapters 6 and 7 again, and read about Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis Chapter 19). Read about what He did to Judah in 587 B.C., when He threatened to bring Babylon against Jerusalem. He did bring Babylon against Jerusalem and totally destroyed it (II Kings Chapter 25). Look up all of the places where God says, “I will do it,” and He did it.

Anyone can deceive himself, and stick his head in the sand like the proverbial ostrich, and say, “It will not happen,” but that will not change the fact that it will happen. IT IS GOING TO HAPPEN! What a terrible thing! What an enormous predicament the world is in!

Who Should Be Warning the World?

To whom has God assigned the responsibility to
sound the warning?

Is it the task of our government to warn the world of the reality of this ultimate terror? To whom has God assigned the responsibility to sound the warning? Certainly, it is not the government. Fact is, warning the world is precisely the task that God has given to each and every true believer in Christ (Matthew 28:19-20; Romans 10:14; II Corinthians 5:20; II Timothy 4:1-5). That is exactly why God assigns the task of preaching the Gospel to you, if you have become a true believer, and to me and to all who become true believers.  

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Incidentally, to “preach” means to “publish” or “proclaim” the Gospel, and when God uses the word “preach,” He is not necessarily talking about a man who is an elder in his church and who has been ordained in some way to be the preacher. Every true believer is a preacher. They are to proclaim the Gospel. THIS IS WHY TRUE CHRISTIANS EXIST TODAY. They have one task and that is to proclaim the Gospel. Given the awfulness of and the certainty of this ultimate terror, it is of the utmost seriousness that each and every true believer realize how utterly important it is to faithfully sound the warning.

We know that no matter how carefully the true Christian warns the world (that this terrible judgment is coming, and that it is so bad that everyone ought to be paralyzed with fear or not able to sleep tonight because they are climbing the walls worrying about it), most people will not listen to the warning. The heart of man is so dead, it is so much in rebellion (Jeremiah 5:23; 17:9), that most people of the world will pay no attention. They will say, “Well, I know you are saying all of those things, but first of all, you must prove to me that the Bible is true. You must prove that the Bible is the Word of God. You claim that it is, but I do not buy it. I just don’t buy it. Now, this is the end of the matter, don’t disturb me. I have to keep building my business, and I have to keep trying to find some happiness in this life.” That is what is on the minds of men.

But you see, it is God’s business to decide whose minds He wants to open up (Psalm 65:4; Acts 16:14; I Corinthians 2:14). If we go to Romans Chapter 10, we can read the instructions God gives to the true believers who have been mandated to sound the warning.

Remember, in connection with the terrorists of today, governments can spend billions of dollars on security trying to protect their citizenry. However, governments can spend five cents or five trillion dollars and still not be able to protect their people from this super-duper terror that is going to strike this world in a very few years. They are powerless to do anything to protect anybody. In this matter, governments are completely helpless.

...there is protection, and that protection is in Christ.

Wonderfully, however, there is protection, and that protection is in Christ. If anyone does become a true believer, and only God can make someone a true believer, it means that he is safe and secure (Psalm 46:1-3). This is so because when that awful day comes, he, together with all the true believers, will be caught up to be with Christ in the air (I Thessalonians 4:17). They are not going to experience one bit of trouble because during that last day’s terror, when Christ  

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comes on the clouds of glory as the Judge of all the earth, and all of these prophecies and all of these declarations of judgment and the wrath of God are taking place, the true children of God will be absent. They will be with Christ in the air. They will not be here. They are safe and secure. It is the maximum security. It is total security. It is a security that is as real and wonderful as it is real and terrible that God is going to come to terrorize the world as He brings the unsaved into eternal damnation.

How Can I Escape?

At this point, many of our readers could rightfully exclaim, “Now that I have been frightened beyond measure, what can I do? Is there any hope for me? You describe those who are true believers in Christ and who, therefore, will not come under this awful judgment. They are to publish the news about this impending disaster to the world. But what good is that? Is there any hope for me? I am just hearing about this ultimate act of terror.”

There is great hope for you! We must look at the Bible for the evidence that this great hope exists.

The Bible’s Book of Jonah

In the Old Testament of the Bible, there is a small book with the title “Jonah.” In it, God gives a vivid illustration that sets forth the wonderful mercy of God. The historical setting of the Book of Jonah is the great city of Nineveh, a capital city of the nation of Assyria circa 750 B.C. Nineveh was a very secular wicked city that knew little or nothing about the true God whom we know from the Bible. Fact is, it was the enemy of Israel. To this city, at the command of God, came the Israelite prophet Jonah. Jonah very reluctantly came to Nineveh with a mandate from God to declare terrible news. Jonah was to warn the city that, because of the wickedness of Nineveh, in forty days, God planned to destroy the city (Jonah 1:1-3; 3:1-4).

The reluctant prophet Jonah brought no supernatural activity to demonstrate he was a prophet sent by God. He came to this great city with only a message from God. It was an awful, reprehensible message. That message did not infatuate the Ninevites with, “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for you.” Instead, this message of doom and gloom declared, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown” (Jonah 3:4). Nineveh was to be destroyed by God.

The reaction to this startling terrible message should have been one of anger and complete distrust. The Ninevites logically should have killed this  

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prophet for daring to suggest that the great city of Nineveh was about to be destroyed. How could it be that this lone prophet would dare to intimidate a great world-class city with such a message of catastrophic oblivion? Anyone who would take this prophet seriously would have to be out of his mind!

But something happened that does not make any kind of logical, reasonable, sense. God tells us in Jonah 3:5-8:

So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.

How could it be that these words of God spoken by this reluctant prophet caused such an unexpected and dramatic reaction? The individual citizens of Nineveh would have learned very little from a lone prophet moving through the city preaching during a period of forty days. The amount of Biblical information reaching the ears of every citizen of this city of more than 120,000 (Jonah 4:11) would have been minuscule! Most of them, at best, would have heard only the indictment: “You are sinners. This city is under the wrath of God. On such a day of a month of this year, God is going to destroy this city.”

What caused them to cry mightily to God at the same time they were turning from their evil ways? Did they have absolute assurance that God would see and hear them and thus withdraw His anger and judgment from this city? The next verse tells us they had no such assurance. We read in Jonah 3:9:

Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?

...they were a people that had come to believe the
reality of God’s warning.
 

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This verse shows us that they were a people who had come to believe the reality of God's warning. They understood that only God Himself could intercede for them to set aside the punishment. They also had come to fully recognize that it was their sins that had brought them to this terrible predicament. And they realized that maybe — maybe — God would have mercy on them.

Now, dear reader, what about you? We cannot leave our cities, and we cannot leave the world to escape the approaching holocaust. Holocaust is the right word because the Bible calls Hell "a lake of fire" (Revelation 19:20; 20:14- 15; 21:8), and God speaks of Himself as "a consuming fire" (Hebrews 12:29). We need — yes, it is imperative that we have — God's mercy! God's mercy is our only hope for deliverance from the awful, terrible Judgment Day which is almost upon us! (Hebrews 2:1-3a; I Peter 2:9-10).

God's Solution

Wonderfully, God has a divine plan by which people can escape the horrible consequences of the ultimate terror that is coming. We read in Romans 10:14:

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

In other words, God here has set up His divine plan. It begins with hearing the Word of God. We read in Romans 10, verse 17:

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Now, what is the Word of God? It is the Bible. It is the key; it is the key to the needs of the world. It is the key to the whole terrible situation of ultimate terror that is going to come. We do not know the exact month or day or hour, but judgment is going to come, and it is very, very close at hand. And just as God saved the Ninevites, so today, God is saving many through the proclamation of His Word (Revelation 7:9-14). The Bible is the key. It is the solution to the security problem. But how then are the peoples of the world, more than six billion of them, going to hear the Word of God?

Preaching, Proclaiming, Prophesying, Warning

God declares that His Word is to be preached. Let us ask again, "Who are the preachers?" Normally, we think of a preacher as someone who stands  

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in the pulpit because he has been specially ordained to preach the Gospel. During the Church Age, the Bible called for qualified men to be elders and deacons. They were the ones who were particularly called upon to minister the Word of God in the congregation (I Timothy 3:1-7). But, in Acts Chapter 2, God indicated that beginning with Pentecost in A.D. 33, every genuine believer was called upon to be a prophet, that is, like Jonah the prophet, he or she was to do the work of a prophet which is to prophesy. To prophesy simply means to declare the Word of God. God declares in Acts 2, verse 17:

And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy . . . .

From that time in A.D. 33 till the end of the world, every genuine believer — man, woman, and child — became a prophet. When God makes spirituallydead sinners spiritually alive, they are commissioned, qualified, and mandated to bring the Gospel. During the Church Age, bringing the Gospel was under the oversight and guidance of the local congregation. Now that the Church Age has come to an end, it is the responsibility of each individual true believer to declare this precious Word of God to the world (see The End of the Church Age and After and Wheat and Tares, available from Family Radio).

In Luke 8:38, we read about a man who was filled with evil spirits, and God healed him. He was an ordinary man. He was just someone like you or me or anyone who had become saved. When the evil spirits were cast out of him, he became a dramatic picture of someone who was taken out of the kingdom of Satan and was translated into the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is, he had become saved. He was no longer subject to Judgment Day. He was told by the Lord Jesus in Luke 8, verse 39:

Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.

The word “published” is the identical Greek word that elsewhere in the Bible is translated “preached.” He could not keep still. “Look what happened to me, look how good the Lord Jesus is, look how he healed me from my terrible suffering! Look how He healed me!” So, he became a preacher. It was not that he now headed up a church and a congregation. He himself is the preacher.

Furthermore, we read in Luke Chapter 12 that God tells the true believers where they are to preach. Look at verse 3:  

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Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed [same word, "preached"] upon the housetops.

In Mark 13:15, God is describing the Great Tribulation. In this context, God commands:

And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take any thing out of his house.

What are they doing on the housetop? Luke Chapter 12, verse 3, tells us that they are proclaiming the Gospel. They are proclaiming the Gospel to the world.

The key is the Word of God. It must be proclaimed!

In other words, God is commanding true believers in this time of Great Tribulation to get busy proclaiming the Word of God. Why? Why? We can know why when we think about the enormous danger the world is in. This super-duper terrorist act of all time, Christ returning and destroying the whole world, is about to happen, and the true believers have the key. Only true believers have the key. The key is the Word of God. It must be proclaimed! It must be gotten out there to the world, and the true children of God are not to come off the housetops. "Do not go back into the house or your church to try and get more information or whatever. You stay on the housetop. You stay out in the world and keep sounding the alarm. It is my program," God is saying. "As individuals, each one of you has a task to proclaim the Gospel, to preach the Gospel."

Therefore, we read in Romans 10, verse 14:

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

That is the way God gets the Gospel out. Throughout the Church Age, God assigned the local churches the task of preaching. Now, in this day, He has assigned that task to individuals.  

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Again let me underscore how important that is. This world is on the edge of the greatest tragedy it has ever, ever known. It is a tragedy that makes every other tragedy like a kindergarten class or like a child’s plaything. In this age of terror, no terrorist, not even the potential terror that would come if our fictitious evil genius were real, can remotely terrorize the world as God is doing. This is the ultimate terror as Christ warns that He is coming with His righteous wrath. He is coming with His furious anger to destroy the wicked by sending them to Hell. He tells us about the role of the true believer in Romans 10:14, where we read:

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

And then Romans 10:15 tells us:

And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Does it take a church or a congregation to send a preacher? The answer is: No. No. True believers are sent out by God Himself. God says in II Corinthians 5:20:

. . . we are ambassadors for Christ . . . .

And He says in Acts 1:8:

. . . ye shall be witnesses . . . unto the uttermost part of the earth.

God says in Mark 16:15:

. . . Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel . . . .

He is telling each one of us who is a true believer, “You are to do the proclaiming. You are to publish the Gospel.” The need to warn the world is not tomorrow, it is not next week or next year, it is now! Never in the history of the world has the need to warn the world been as urgent or serious as it is today. God warns in Ezekiel 33:2-9:

Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the
 

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land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: if when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand. So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

The watchman can be only those who have been designated by God to give warning. They are the true believers who have been given the task to send the Gospel into all the world.

The enemy that is coming is Christ as the Judge. The unsaved of the world are the enemies of Christ (Colossians 1:21), and Christ is the enemy of the unsaved world. Thus, this passage is warning the true believers that they have no option. They know that Judgment Day is coming as the ultimate act of terror that will strike this earth. If they do not sound the warning, they themselves will come under the judgment of God (Ezekiel 33:6, 8). The language of this Biblical passage is so emphatic that it permits no argument. We who are true believers must sound the warning to the whole world that Judgment Day is almost here.

In Isaiah 34:1-4, God declares:

Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye people: let the earth hear, and all that is therein; the world, and all things that come forth of it. For the indignation of the LORD is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter. Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcases, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood.
 

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And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.

The nations, the earth, must hear. The language of verse 2, “. . . he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter,” is in the past tense. This emphasizes the absolute certainty that this slaughter (Judgment Day) will happen. Already in God’s mind it has happened because God is the great “I AM,” the ever-present One (Exodus 3:14; John 8:58).

This world is on the edge of oblivion. It is right on the edge. It is like the world is living on a volcano, a huge volcano. This volcano has not erupted for a thousand years, so fields have been planted, and cities have been built on that volcano. However, a group of scientists has been studying that volcano, and they suddenly realize that this volcano is ready to erupt. And when it does erupt, it will be such a major eruption that it will utterly destroy all the cities that have been built on this volcano. And so, they run through the streets of the city, screaming to anyone who will listen, “We have got to get out! We have got to get off this volcano! There is going to be an explosion that will destroy all of us if we do not immediately get away from this volcano!” This is the kind of thing the world is facing today as the righteous God is soon to come with the ultimate terror.

The terrible fact is that there is a comet coming.

Sometimes we read about people who warn that there are comets or asteroids out there. If a large comet or a large asteroid would strike this earth, it could bring this world to its end. But then they add, “Wonderfully, we don’t see anything out there that will threaten us for maybe the next million and a half years, as near as we can tell.” The terrible fact is that there is a comet coming. There is an asteroid coming. It is already on the way and it is coming from Heaven. It is God and His wrath and His fury! It is going to strike, and God has given us enough information so that we can be absolutely sure it will strike. Moreover, we know it is going to strike very, very soon. It is not in the wild blue yonder. It is not someday. It is going to strike very, very soon.

People, can you understand the position of the true believer? God has saved a significant number of people who, before God saved them, were facing this terrible judgment just like everyone else (Ephesians 2:1-3). But because God has saved these sinners, He has given them the task to warn the world. The  

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Gospel of salvation, which true Christians preach, is the only security system that exists in the world. Only the true believers put their confidence in the Bible and understand that what God declares will happen (I Thessalonians 2:13).

God’s True People Must Sound the Warning

Only the true believers in Christ are in a position where they can send out the Gospel. They are the only people who absolutely trust the Bible. They are the only people who have been commissioned, and qualified, and commanded to sound the warning. We read in Romans 10:17:

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

The Word of God must be sent out into the world. Without the true children of God intensely wanting to be obedient to Him, proclaiming or publishing His Word to the world, there will be no warning to the world of this impending holocaust. This is God’s plan. Those whom God has saved are to publish the Word. The Bible declares that true believers cannot preach or publish or proclaim except they be sent (Romans 10:14-15). The moment a person becomes a true believer, he is automatically sent out. This is God’s plan. This is the role that God has assigned to His true people, they are sent into the world to publish, to proclaim, the Gospel.

How important is this Gospel? Can you now begin to see some things tying together? How important is the Gospel to the world? This world is on that volcano that is ready to erupt. This world is at that moment when God is about to terrorize the world like it has never been terrorized before, as He comes in judgment to destroy. Who is there in this world who can provide any answer for security? We cannot marshal all of the political money or the political entities to provide security. We cannot marshal all of the scientists and try to figure out a way to provide security. There is no security that the world governments or scientists can provide.

However, there is a way of escaping that holocaust, and the people God has saved are holding the solution right in their hands! The answer is the Word of God. In the Word of God, God tells us all about this ultimate act of terror. He commands His true people to send out that Word, publish it on the housetops and proclaim that Word to the world. This is imperative because the world is about ready to blow. The world is ready to receive the maximum destruction, the maximum holocaust, it will ever, ever face, and God has commissioned you, if you are a true believer, and me, as custodians of that Word, to proclaim that Word to the world.  

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Can you see what life is all about? Hey, look, you have a business to take care of, you have an office job, you have to make a living. We are all busy with life. We all have plenty to do in this life, and we find that most of our attention is focused on taking care of our family. We are planning to buy a new house; we are planning to take a vacation next year. We are doing all the normal things that the world is doing. Everything is under control. It is just so nice when we are thinking about buying some new clothes, and so, these are all the things we care about. Oh, yes, on Sunday, many of us fellowship together, and we sing some songs, and we have some nice Christian conversation with each other. We feel spiritually refreshed, and now we go back to work on Monday morning, and we go back to school, and everything appears to be fine.

There is only one possibility of security and
that security is in the Lord Jesus.

Another week goes by and it is another week closer to Doomsday. It is another week closer to the holocaust, closer to the act of terror that is going to happen, which those who trust the Bible know about. They know it is going to happen because they trust the Bible. They have learned that the Bible is the Word of God, and God does not play games. God is not fooling around. God is not just giving idle warnings (Ezekiel 8:17-18; 21:8-10). God has given a message. He has told us that this holocaust is going to happen, and it is going to happen very soon. It is going to impact the whole world. There is only one possibility of security and that security is in the Lord Jesus.

True Christians have come to trust the Bible, and yet, do they just kind of fold their hands and live out their lives, effectively declaring, “Who cares about the world? Who cares? What difference does that make? Let them go to Hell if they want to go to Hell.” This is very crude language, but is this not the way it seems to be, to such a high degree? Unfortunately, many who say they are Christians are not true Christians at all. Is this the way we live our lives? “Just let people go, we are not going to worry about them.” The fact is, this is not the way God designed a true believer.

God has made saved people, new people. He has made them changed people. He has commanded them to “Occupy till I come” (Luke 19:13). He has commanded them to be His ambassadors. God is evangelizing the world through the true believers. They have been given the responsibility to evangelize the world, and because this is God’s divine plan, those of us who call ourselves true believers ought to be extremely agitated about this. Our whole lifestyle ought  

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to change radically. We ought to have an entirely different focus for our life. We should recognize that this terrible act of terror is almost ready to happen. We should clearly recognize it is no longer business as usual. We cannot go on with our normal life the way we have in the past. There is a world out there, six billion people and more, who are going to be incinerated. Not just suddenly annihilated, but they are going to be eternally, continually incinerated in Hell. They are going to be in the Lake of Fire forevermore. They are going to be under the wrath of God forevermore. And the only solution is Christ.

What About Election?

Now we know that Christ has elected those who are to become saved (II Thessalonians 2:13; I Peter 1:2). Therefore, since God does all the work required to save the elect, why does anyone have to be concerned?

We must remember that God’s election program is not our business. That is God’s business. Why do you think God has commanded His true people to go into all the world with the Gospel? Why do you think He tells them to stay on the housetops and not go down into the house? Recall that God declares in Luke 12:3:

Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.

To be on the housetop is a figure of speech that the true believers are ceaselessly to send out the Gospel. Is this just conversation? Is God just kind of making some small talk with us? No way. These are expressed commands of God. This is what God desires. This is what He wants. This is what He commands. This is His plan. It is through the true believers that God sends the Gospel so that His lost sheep will become saved (Isaiah 55:11; Matthew 28:19- 20; Luke 19:10; John 10:11, 16; 20:21; Acts 1:8; Romans 10:14-17). These are the ones He still has to bring in before that final day when Christ comes. It is altogether God’s business. It is not up to man to make that decision. We know that those whom God still must bring in are a great multitude because Revelation 7, verse 9, says:

After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands.
 

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This great multitude consists of all those who become saved. And where did they come from? They came out of Great Tribulation (Revelation 7:13-14).

Life Is No Longer the Same

What I am trying to get across to you and to me is that life is no longer business as usual. Today is the day when God’s true people have an absolutely important task. It is an insistent task, and we who are true believers in Christ as our Savior are the only ones with the message that the whole world must hear. That message is that Judgment Day is almost here. And Judgment Day is super awful.

It is no wonder that in Revelation 6, verses 15-17, God warns that when Christ comes:

. . . the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

These are the very words that God is saying to us. These words are similar to the message God brings all through the Bible. In II Peter Chapter 3, for example, God reminds us of what He did in the Flood of Noah’s day. He says in II Peter 3, verses 3 and 4:

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

You and I know that many who call themselves Christians are very nonchalant about this whole business, but they are not actually saying out loud, “Where is the promise?” Many say they do believe Christ is coming. But many of us are demonstrating that it is not really important at all that He is coming. What is so big about this? Effectively, we are saying, “I have to get on with my life. I want my children to go to college. I want to build a new house, and I want to have this other thing and that other thing. My family and I are getting along very well, thank you. Don’t bother me.”  

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If we really knew in our hearts and accepted the fact that the end of the world is near, we could not be nonchalant. We would have to be trembling with fear for our loved ones. We would have to be trembling with fear for the world. We would be exercising every muscle of our existence and of our strength in order somehow to tell more people about this. We would have an enormous compulsion to tell anyone and everyone that this holocaust is coming (II Corinthians 5:11). It is coming. In His Word, God tells us in II Peter 3, verses 5 and 6:

For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished.

These are facts that God is declaring. God is saying, “Remember, remember, go back to the Flood of Noah’s day. Did I not say I was going to destroy the whole world? I did destroy it! So what are you doing about this warning that I intend to destroy the whole world by fire?” Remember, God says in II Peter 3:7:

But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

He goes on to say in II Peter 3:10:

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

Is this just poetic language? Is this just small talk? Is this exaggeration? No way. These are warnings from Almighty God. It is Almighty God who is speaking. Is this something that will happen hundreds of years down the corridors of time? No way. It is coming very close.

I am trying to get a very serious message across to each one of us. Life is not the same. We have to get this serious message into our thick skulls, into our hardened hearts. We have to begin to understand that we are living in a most serious time. Throughout history, God has warned that Judgment Day is coming. When Christ comes to judge the unsaved, it will be the end of time. There will  

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be no more grace, no more mercy. Please read again the Scriptures we have included here! Understand that at the end of time, there will be no more salvation. It will mean that it is settled once and for all that anyone who is unsaved at that point is going to stand before the Judgment Throne of God and end up in Hell forevermore.

For the genuine believers, the real crisis is not that we are at the end of the Church Age (see The End of the Church Age and After, available free of charge from Family Radio). That is not the issue. As God completes the evangelization of the world, He has assigned the task to individual true believers to publish, to preach, to proclaim the Word of God. This is the assignment that He has given us, if we are true believers, and that is why we understand that we are to be on the housetops. This is the task that we have to do. The real crisis for the true believer is that the completion of God’s salvation program for this world is so near. Time is so very short.

Please let me repeat: this is not “business as usual.” Each one of us who claims to be a genuine believer has to ask, “Oh, Lord, what can I do? I know that I can witness to my loved ones, I can stand on a street corner and pass out tracts that proclaim the Gospel, and I can encourage people to read the Bible.”

Incidentally, I am in awe at what God is doing presently through Family Radio as we are able to reach whole continents with the Gospel. It is the very same Gospel that can be heard in so many cities in the United States. It is the whole counsel of God that Family Radio tries to bring. We are trying to be as faithful as possible to the Word of God.

They dare not say, “That’s not for me. . . .”

God has placed an enormous responsibility in the lives of each and every true believer. They dare not say, “That’s not for me. There are plenty of others who are available to carry out the task of warning the world. They will provide the funds. They will see to it that the work is done.” If that is our thinking, then we better ask the question, “Am I really a true child of God?” (II Corinthians 13:5). I am very, very candid about this because God commands the true people of God to remain on the housetops, and it is from the housetops that the Gospel is to be proclaimed. If we do not obey this command, it is because we are not truly saved (Matthew 24:42-51).

If we have been healed of our spiritual illness, we, like the demoniac who was healed of his demons (Luke 8:26-39), should be proclaiming to anyone who will listen what God has done in our life.  

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In Romans 10:17, we read:

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

True believers know that the only faith that will secure the souls of people in this world is the faith of Jesus Christ. Only when God gives this faith to the sinner, and God accepts the faithfulness of Christ, which justifies the sinner, will that sinner be in safety (Galatians 2:16, 20; Ephesians 3:14-19; Revelation 19:7- 9, 11-14). Only then will that sinner be secure. Only then will that sinner be saved from being incinerated in Hell forevermore. Only then, when he is in Christ, is there true safety.

So, what is the remedy for the world? They must hear the Word of God. That is why in our task today, as individual true believers, there is only one purpose, and that purpose is to get the Word of God out into the world.

The crisis is the authority of the Word of God.

Earlier, I indicated that the crisis today is not the end of the Church Age. The crisis is the authority of the Word of God. That is the real crisis: The authority of the Bible. All kinds of people will hear this kind of message, and they will say, “Is he trying to scare people? Is he trying to get people to send money to Family Radio?” They can scorn and they can scoff all they want, but the fact is that if people are not going to listen seriously to this kind of message, the question must be asked: “What do they think about the Word of God?” It is the Bible that is at issue. It is the Bible that is at issue (Amos 8:11).

The Final Minutes

The time is desperate; it is critical. It is super, super critical. It has never been more desperate. We have never been closer to the end than we are today. Never, never. It has never been so close. The trumpet is about to sound! We can almost hear the sound of the trumpet as we will hear it when Christ does come (I Corinthians 15:52; Revelation 1:7). Yet God gives opportunity to warn the world. If we are truly saved, this concern should be burning in our souls all the time. How can we reach more people? What else can we do? We have got to reach the peoples of the world. The true believers, proclaimers of the Gospel, are the only early-warning security system for this granddaddy of all terrorists’ activities that is going to come. And it is coming.  

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It is going to come. And yet, is it not true that we continue to live out our lives very complacently? Be honest about it. We are very complacent. If God is really working in our lives, then as true children of God, every day we ought to be thinking, “It will not be long now, and that great terror is going to strike. Who can I warn? How can I help to tell somebody that it is time? And I know, as I warn, there will be scoffers. I know that my friends will think I am crazy. I know they will think I have lost my mind. I know all of that will happen. But that is beside the issue. I will not worry about how or what they think of me. I have got to warn. I have got to warn. In the entire history of the world, no individual true believers have had a more insistent task than I have today.”

We are in the final inning of the game.

Friends, we are in the wrap-up. We are in the final inning of the game. We are in the final minutes of the ball game. It is almost time for Christ to come. Beloved ones, do you get the picture? On the one hand, we are living in the most exciting time of history. But on the other hand, we are living in the most terrible time of the history of the world. The Bible has threatened throughout its pages that the time will come when Christ will return to judge all the unsaved of the earth. Let us read again from Isaiah 13, verse 9:

Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.

Isaiah, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote these words 2,800 years ago. Thus, it was 2,800 years ago that God was already warning mankind, and that warning has been sounded again and again throughout the Bible. However, today, it is not 2,800 years ago. In all likelihood, it is in your lifetime, and it may even be in my lifetime, that the day of the Lord will come, “cruel both with wrath and fierce anger.”

Cruel! How can that be? God is a merciful God, a compassionate God. But now God says the day comes with cruelty. Why? You see, there is no longer any mercy when Christ comes.

Oh, today there is mercy! Today there is mercy! Today there is still a great multitude that no man can number who are being saved! But when Christ appears on the clouds of glory on the last day, Judgment Day, there will be no mercy! There will be countless people at the Judgment Throne arguing in some way with God, saying, “But, oh, God, look how I have lived for you. Look at all  

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of the good things I have done, and look at this and look at that. Oh, God, are you not a merciful God?” And God is effectively saying, “You never did become saved, and now it is too late. I must send you into eternal damnation because I never knew you! It is too late! The time is gone.” That, my dear ones, is what God teaches in the Bible (Matthew 7:21-23).

I wish that I could be accused of, “Wow, are you exaggerating! Are you getting carried away!” I wish that could be an honest accusation, but it is not. I am not getting carried away. I wish I could be ten times more excited about this! I wish I could tremble fifty times more than I am trembling as I think about where the world is! And please remember, when you read about the various acts of terror that are going on, and they are going on, that is a diversion. That is a diversion to get our minds off the real problem. The real problem is that the greatest terror of all is almost here. It is almost here.

God is teaching that He has become cruel with wrath and fierce anger to lay the land desolate, and He shall destroy the sinners out of it. Isaiah 13:10a says:

For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light.

At times, when God talks about “stars” in the Bible, He is referring to His eternal people (Genesis 15:5; Galatians 3:29; Hebrews 11:12). When Christ comes, the true believers can no longer bring the light of the Gospel to the world because God will be finished with this world.

Isaiah 13:10b says, “. . . the sun shall be darkened . . . .” Ordinarily, Christ is looked upon as the Sun that rises with healing in His wings (Malachi 4:2). But then, He, as the very essence of the Gospel light (John 8:12; Ephesians 5:13- 14), is no longer saving. The sun is darkened.

Isaiah 13:10c says, “. . . and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.” The moon, at times, is a picture of the Law of God (Psalm 72:1-2, 5-7; Jeremiah 31:35-36; Romans 6:14; Revelation 12:1). The whole Bible is the Law of God (Matthew 5:17-18; 24:35). And while God sometimes uses the word “moon” in the sense of bringing judgment (Isaiah 24:16-23; Joel 2:31; Acts 2:20; Revelation 6:12), in this setting, as in several others (Ezekiel 32:7-8; Joel 2:10; 3:15; Matthew 24:29; Mark 13:24), it does not give light, that is, God is speaking of the fact that there will be no more light of the Gospel. It is too late. It is too late! You can beg and cry and weep for mercy, and you can hope that there is still some possibility, but it is all gone. No wonder God says in Hebrews 2:3a:

How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation.
 

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Of course, we know we cannot get anybody saved, God has to save them (Matthew 19:25-26). But we read in Romans 10:17:

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Read the Bible! Read the Bible!

So, again, if I am truly a person saved by God, truly a child of God, and thus, an ambassador for Christ, what is my task? It is to get the Word of God out to the multitudes of the world.

On the Family Radio program “The Open Forum,” people call with their problems. They are being told that whatever their problems are, no man can truly help. God is the only solution. God speaks to us from the pages of the Bible (John 6:63). Therefore, read the Bible. Read the Bible! Read the Bible! Read it prayerfully, asking God to give you some understanding. Read it praying that you might be obedient to what you are commanded in the Bible. The task of the true believer is to encourage people to read the Bible (John 5:39; Romans 10:14-17; II Timothy 2:24-25).

If you are one of Christ’s ambassadors and you are sharing the Gospel with someone, and he is arguing about a theological point, say, “Look, I do not know. I am not an expert in that, but let me tell you, you must read the Bible. Keep reading the Bible. I, as a Christian, find reading the Bible extremely valuable. In fact, God has given Sunday as a marvelous opportunity to read the Bible, study it, meditate upon it, and pray for obedience to it (Isaiah 58:13-14). In the Bible, I find the Gospel (Psalm 19:7-11). God’s Gospel of salvation is the only security system that can give any protection from this gigantic, super terrible terror that is about to happen.”

God has given His true people the responsibility to function as an earlywarning security system. As true believers proclaim God’s Word, they sound the alarm: “This day of terror is about to happen!” It will happen. Without any question whatsoever, it will happen. And it will happen very soon!


Preface Table of Contents Chapter 2